A statement from Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean on the subject of Michigan and Florida’s contested delegates:
“We’re glad to hear that the Governors of Michigan and Florida are willing to lend their weight to help resolve this issue. As we’ve said all along, we strongly encourage the Michigan and Florida state parties to follow the rules, so today’s public overtures are good news. The rules, which were agreed to by the full DNC including representatives from Florida and Michigan over 18 months ago, allow for two options. First, either state can choose to resubmit a plan and run a party process to select delegates to the convention; second, they can wait until this summer and appeal to the Convention Credentials Committee, which determines and resolves any outstanding questions about the seating of delegates. We look forward to receiving their proposals should they decide to submit new delegate selection plans and will review those plans at that time. The Democratic Nominee will be determined in accordance with party rules, and out of respect for the presidential campaigns and the states that did not violate party rules, we are not going to change the rules in the middle of the game.
“Through all the speculation, we should also remember the overwhelming enthusiasm and turnout that we have already seen, and respect the voters of the ten states who have yet to have their say.
I read that to mean Dean is inviting Michigan and Florida to organize new primaries or caucuses. The governors of both states have indicated they are willing. My question: would do-overs be scheduled before Pennsylvania or after? If they’re schedule for after, this primary season will stretch on so long that the Democrat who emerges as the nominee will be seriously handicapped.
Key question: With Michigan and Florida excluded, neither candidate can go into the convention with the 2025 pledged delegates needed to secure the nomination. They would both need superdelegates to get over the top, no matter how many of the remaining states they win. But if Florida and Michigan schedule do-overs, is there a scenario where one of the two can get 2025 on pledged delegates alone? I’ll investigate.
Update: TNR is reporting Michigan is set to hold new caucuses.
Update Update: For an interesting take on what Obama should do about this situation, see Mark Schmitt at TAPPED.